Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 413–418 | Cite as

Extracellular chromone derivatives in cell cultures of Pimpinella anisum. Influence of elicitation with methyl jasmonate and 2β-methyl cyclodextrins

  • Camilo Soto-Argel
  • Diego Hidalgo
  • Javier Palazon
  • Purificación Corchete
Original Research Paper



To explore the potentiality of undifferentiated Pimpinella anisum L. cell cultures for the production of secondary metabolites by means of elicitation.


Two chromone compounds were secreted to the medium of undifferentiated cultures of P. anisum: 4-methoxyfuro[3,2-g]chromen-7-one, known as bergapten, which is constitutive to anise, and 5-hydroxy-7-methoxy-2-methylchromen-4-one, the rare chromone eugenin, not yet described in P. anisum. Caffeoyl quinic acid species were also identified in the biomass. Elicitation with methyl jasmonate enhanced chromone accumulation in the medium and stimulated phenolic acid metabolism in the biomass (11 mg caffeoyl quinic acids g−1 DW cells). The application of 2,6-dimethyl-β-cyclodextrins to cultures led to an intense accumulation of chromones, with nearly 10 mg l−1 bergapten and 150 mg l−1 eugenin being accumulated extracellularly after optimal elicitation conditions.


The significant amounts of eugenin obtained in the anise cultures and the stability of production over long periods of time can be of interest for its biotechnological production and for future studies on biosynthesis regulation.


Anise Bergapten Chromones Eugenin Pimpinella anisum Plant cell cultures 



This work has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (BIO2014-51861-R).

Supporting Information

Supplementary Fig. 1—Chromatograms acquired at A257 from fruit extracts (a), pure anethole (b) and cultures (medium extracts, c and biomass, d)

Supplementary material

10529_2017_2482_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (268 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 Chromatograms acquired at A257 from fruit extracts (a), pure anethole (b) and cultures (medium extracts, c and biomass, d) (PPTX 267 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany and Plant Physiology, Campus Miguel de UnamunoUniversity of SalamancaSalamancaSpain
  2. 2.Laboratori de Fisiología Vegetal, Facultat de FarmaciaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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